Visa extensions and visa conditions

Information on visa extensions, new visa expiry dates, and changes to visa conditions.

Extensions issued June 2021

Working holiday visas

Working holiday visas that are expiring between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended for a further six months.

Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 14 June 2021 to qualify.

The conditions of extended Working Holiday visas have been varied to allow holders to work as part of a Working Holiday Scheme in any employment except permanent employment.

If your visa meets the criteria for extension but your record has not been updated and you have not been contacted by Immigration New Zealand, you can request an extension check.

Request an extension check

Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) work visas

Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) work visas expiring between 30 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 have been extended for six months.

Visa holders must have been in New Zealand on 14 June 2021 to qualify.

The extended SSE visas now have open work rights allowing them to work in any sector.

If your visa meets the criteria for extension but your record has not been updated and you have not been contacted by Immigration New Zealand, you can request an extension check.

Request an extension check

Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visa

If you are a Pacific RSE worker who came to New Zealand through the border exception you can apply for a new visa and will be able to stay beyond the normal maximum period.

If you are applying for a further RSE Limited Visa in New Zealand, and you intend to be in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including time already spent in New Zealand) you do not need to provide police certificates with your application.


Extensions issued February 2021

Visitor visas

Visitor visas have been extended by two months from date of expiry for those:

  • in New Zealand on 19 February 2021, and
  • who hold a temporary visitor visa that expires between 19 February 2021 and 31 March 2021 inclusive.

The extension is automatic. There is no fee.

The extension does not apply to COVID-19 short term visitor visas.

Although the new expiry dates are not yet visible on visas, the extension is valid. Visa holders who are eligible for the extension are not considered unlawful. New expiry dates will be available on the Visa Verification Service after 5 March. If you hold a visitor visa and wish to remain in New Zealand for longer, you will need to apply for another visa before your visa expires.  

Do not call the Immigration Contact Centre as they will be unable to confirm your visa status.

The rule where visitor visa holders can only be in New Zealand for nine months out of an eighteen month period has been waived temporarily. This applies to people in New Zealand who apply for visitor visas before the end of June. If all other requirements for a visitor visa are met, applicants will be eligible for a visitor visa of up to six months.

Visitor Visa information and fees

If your visa meets the criteria for extension but your record has not been updated, you can request an extension check.

Request an extension check


Extensions issued December 2020

Visa holders who are eligible for the extension are not considered unlawful while Immigration New Zealand’s records are being updated.

You can use our tool to check if you, your partner or your dependant are eligible for this extension. 

Check if your visa meets the criteria for extension tool

Visa Verification Service

If your visa meets the criteria for extension but your record has not been updated, you can request an extension check.

Request an extension check


Employer-assisted workers

This includes:

  • Essential Skills Work Visas
  • Work to Residence visas
  • Special and Skilled work visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam
  • Special Category Work Visas for Japanese Interpreters and Thai Chefs
  • Employer-specific work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Visas
  • Religious Worker Work Visa

Extension6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone in New Zealand on 1 January 2021, and 
  • holding a valid employer-assisted work visa, and 
  • with an expiry date between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 (inclusive).

Some partner and dependant visas that were given on the basis of their relationship with the main visa holder have also be extended in line with the extension of the main visa holder.


Fishing crew

Extension: 6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone holding a valid foreign crew of fishing vessel work visa, and 
  • with an expiry between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 (inclusive).

Working holiday visas

Extension: 6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone in New Zealand on 21 December 2020, and
  • hold a valid Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) or Working Holiday Extension Visa (WHE), and 
  • with an expiry date between 21 December 2020 and 30 June 2021 (inclusive).

The conditions of extended Working Holiday visas have been varied to allow holders to work as part of a Working Holiday Scheme in any employment except permanent employment.


Extensions issued between July and September 2020

If your visa was extended your visa conditions stay the same. If you have a work visa that was extended you can continue to work. If your visa’s conditions specify which employer you can work for and what job you can do, you must continue to work in that job and for that employer. 

If your situation changes then you may need to apply for a variation of conditions or a new visa.

If your situation changes

If your visa meets the criteria for extension but your record has not been updated, you can request an extension check.

Request an extension check


Employer-assisted work visas

This includes:

  • Essential Skills Work Visas
  • Work to Residence visas
  • Special and Skilled work visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam
  • Special category work visas for Japanese Interpreters and Thai Chefs
  • Employer-specific work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa

Extension: 6 months from when the visa expires, and you must:

  • be in New Zealand on 10 July 2020, and
  • hold a valid employer-assisted work visa, and
  • have an expiry date between 10 July and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).

Partners and dependants of employer-assisted work visa holders

Extension: In line with main visa holder

  • everyone in New Zealand on 17 August 2020, and 
  • hold a valid temporary visa as the partner or dependant of a work visa holder (in the above extension), and
  • with an expiry date before 31 December 2020 (inclusive)

Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited Visas

Extension6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone in New Zealand on 18 August 2020, and 
  • hold a valid RSE Limited visa, and 
  • with an expiry date between the 18 August and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).

Fishing crew

Extension6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone holding a valid foreign crew of fishing vessel work visa, and 
  • with an expiry between 11 September and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).

Religious worker — including partners and dependants

Extension6 months from date of expiry

  • everyone in New Zealand on 11 September 2020, and 
  • hold a valid religious work visa, or 
  • a valid temporary visa as a partner or dependant of a principal religious worker visa holder, and
  • with an expiry date between the 11 September and 31 December 2020 (inclusive).

Visa conditions

Flexible working conditions for supermarket workers at Alert Level 3 and 4

Visa conditions will be relaxed for a short period to allow temporary migrant workers and international students to assist our supermarkets while New Zealand/a region is in Alert Level 3 or 4, effective until 31 December 2023.

To be eligible for these flexible requirements, the visa holder must have been an employee of that supermarket on the day immediately prior to New Zealand/the region entering Alert Level 3 or 4.

Any tasks associated with the supply of goods to, from or within a supermarket that is operating in a region under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or 4 may be undertaken by a student, work or interim visa holder (provided they held a student or work visa immediately prior to the interim visa). After this point, the original visa conditions will apply.

This flexible visa condition will allow international students and temporary migrant workers to:

  • vary hours,
  • be redeployed to other roles within their current workplaces, or
  • be redeployed to workplaces within same region.

Students should discuss their plans with their education provider as they must still meet the study requirements of their student visa.

Affected supermarket workers or their employers won’t need to apply for a Variation of Conditions to amend their visas. Workers meeting the specified requirements will automatically benefit from the changes.

A new visa or variation of conditions is needed to permanently change the employer, occupation or region.

Supermarkets mean those operated by:

  • Woolworths New Zealand – owners of Countdown, Super Value and FreshChoice supermarkets
  • Foodstuffs Limited – owners of New World, Pak n Save and Four Square.

Varying the conditions of your visa

Work visa holders can apply for a Variation of Conditions of their visa.

Application for a variation of conditions for work visa holders

A new application can be submitted online for Variation of Conditions paper applications sent before the Alert Level 4 nationwide lockdown that have not been acknowledged with an email, and those sent after. Paper applications will be returned when staff become available. No fees will be charged for those paper applications.  

Paper applications will be returned when staff become available.

No fees will be charged for paper applications.   

New Zealand median wage

We use the current median wage of NZD $27 an hour to determine visa conditions.

Stand-down period

The introduction of the stand-down period during which Essential Skills visa holders paid below the median wage must leave New Zealand will be delayed until July 2022. 

Temporary entry and resident visa holders must follow health instructions in NZ

Everyone in New Zealand is required to follow health instructions that are in place relating to COVID-19.

Any new resident and temporary visas are subject to a specific visa condition requiring them to comply with:

  • any order made under section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and
  • any order made under section 70 of the Health Act 1956 and listed in schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, and
  • any instruction from a Medical Officer of Health which relates to a notifiable or quarantinable disease. 

This includes Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia, who have resident visas on arrival in New Zealand, regardless of their intended length of stay.

If you do not comply with these requirements, you may be liable for detention or deportation for breaching the conditions of your visa.

The Ministry of Health in New Zealand provides details on any orders or instructions that may be in place. These could include: quarantine on arrival, self-isolation if you are unwell, and infection control methods such as limits on gatherings or contact tracing.

Ministry of Health website